Food Photo Essay: 2013 Stout and Oyster Festival at the Schlafly Tap Room

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On Friday and Saturday, March 8-9, the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust Street; 314-241-2337) celebrated its annual Stout and Oyster Festival, flying in 30,000 live oysters from both coasts, along with a team of all-star shuckers.

The stout they already had on hand -- pints and pints (and pints) of it, in three varieties.

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

RFT contributing photographer Crystal Rolfe was on hand to document the event in colorful little electronic dots for your delectation.

See also: - RFT's pick for "Best Food Festival" (2009) - The Six Best Craft Beer Makers in St. Louis - Food Photo Essay: The Block Restaurant Butcher and Bar

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

A happy pair of (former) oyster virgins.

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

A small fraction of the tens of thousands of oysters flown in for the occasion await the shuckers (also flown in for the occasion).

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

On the half-shell: shucked oysters galore.

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

Say hello to Melissa and Michelle: For every oyster on the half-shell, there was an eager taker -- or two.

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

Ricka and Matt, two more satisfied customers.

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

Some like 'em hot, take 1: crisp oysters, straight from the fryer.

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

Some like 'em hot, take 2: oysters steaming on the grill.

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

Some like 'em...big: a Penn Cove Select oyster from the Pacific Northwest. Back in the days before the Second World War, these mamas were known as Japanese oysters.

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

Rawl and Dave take a break from shucking to show off the fruits of their labor.

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

Consuming oysters in the half-shell is a skill worth learning.

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

It's a pearl!

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

Shuckers from both coasts worked long hours but stayed in high spirits.

Crystal Rolfe
  • Crystal Rolfe

Shellfish + Beer = Oyster Goggles!

Editor's note: Sometimes food renders Gut Check speechless. That's why God invented the DSLR. In our continuing effort to cause your mouth to water onto your keyboard, we bring you our weekly Food Photo Essay.

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